News of the Nude, no. 3
Comments on a few nudesworthy items that strolled past our door in the last month
As the world continues to navigate the complexities of social norms and changing attitudes towards nudity, the latest edition of News of the Nude offers a glimpse into some of the ongoing conversations around body positivity, censorship, and personal freedom. From proposed laws that threaten the rights of librarians and bloggers, to online payment platforms censoring nudist content creators, from tabloid-fueled red carpet sexism, to recent activism challenging the societal constraints placed on women's bodies, the articles selected for this month's feature highlight the ongoing debates that intersect with the values and beliefs of those who embrace naturism. Join us as we explore the latest developments in this ever-evolving conversation. 🚀
Twitter influencers throw nudists under the bus
Now, I usually try to start these off with some positive news, but today I’m hoppin’ mad over a tweet that crossed my path yesterday and I have something to get off my chest first. Here’s the tweet:
Lord, give me the strength to stay out of the comments section.
For all the hollering I've done here and elsewhere about threats against nudism from conservatives, I should not have been surprised at all to see this recent tweet from someone who is decidedly liberal, trying to score political points by throwing nudists under the bus. In this tweet, independent journalist Brian—in a floundering attempt to point out conservative hypocrisy—implies that families attending Florida’s nude beaches with children are somehow illicit, and that Ron DeSantis is a groomer for allowing nude beaches in his state. Now I am no fan of “Meatball Ron,” and have criticized him here on this blog, but this suggestion by Mr. Krassenstein is just wrong. Florida’s family nude beaches are no less safe for children than clothed beaches, and the attempt to defend the LGBTQ+ community by suggesting that nudists are groomers is offensive to both groups, and displays ignorance over the fact that many nudists are also from the LGBTQ+ community, and many nude beaches are also queer spaces.
Nudists have been targeted by moralistic legislation and threats from both sides of the political spectrum over the years. Nudists are not perverts or groomers, as the inflammatory tweet above insinuates. They are individuals who have chosen to embrace a lifestyle that celebrates body positivity, personal freedom, and acceptance of others regardless of their appearance or identity. Suggesting that nudists are a danger to children is a baseless and offensive claim, and it's unfortunate that this type of ignorance is perpetuated even among those who consider themselves to be progressive or liberal.
So let's be clear: the legislation and threats against nudism are not limited to one political party or ideology. As a community, we need to continue to speak out against anyone who seeks to restrict our freedoms and demonize us based on narrow-minded stereotypes. The above tweet, like many of the other stories that you’ll read below, illustrate that the threat is on all sides, and that the freedoms nudists enjoy are this close to being targeted—just like the LGBTQ+ community is facing right now—and inevitably, they will come under direct attack, mark my words. Because of this inevitability, we are stronger for allying with these marginalized communities against all forms of oppression, not hiding and trying not to be noticed while they are under attack. Only together can we truly work towards a society that respects and values the diversity of all its citizens.
Okay. Now let’s move on to the nice news (at least for a moment). 🚀
Berlin to allow women to go topless in public swimming pools
The recent ruling by Berlin authorities to allow women to swim topless in public pools has sparked a discussion about Freikörperkultur or “free body culture” in Germany, where public nudity is considered appropriate and healthy in some settings. The decision followed legal action taken by a woman who was thrown out of an open-air pool for sunbathing topless and another woman who was told to cover up while at an indoor pool in December. While Berlin is not the first German city to allow women to swim topless in public pools, the ruling has raised questions about whether public nudity is appropriate in municipal swimming pools. The Berliner Bäderbetriebe (BBB), the city’s swimming pool operator, has clarified that while it hasn’t changed its rules, a bathing costume should cover the genitals of every visitor irrespective of their gender.
Berlin's decision is a decisive step towards gender equality. This move recognizes that female breasts are a secondary sex characteristic and should be treated equally the men’s’ chests. This decision sets an example for other cities to follow, as it promotes body freedom and acceptance of different attitudes towards nudity. Allowing all visitors to be topless in public pools, regardless of their gender, will help to eliminate gender bias and promote a more inclusive society. I don’t see American cities following suit any time soon, but I’m hopeful that some cities in Europe will within time, and this sea change could eventually reach our shores before long. 🚀
World-famous nudist beach's strange naked etiquette including burying boners in sand
Haulover Beach in Florida is one of the most popular nudist beaches in the US, but visitors are expected to follow a strict set of guidelines. The beach has been clothing-optional since 1991, and the rules include covering up unwanted erections, avoiding sexual activity in public, and refraining from staring or gawking at other visitors. Nudists are also encouraged to bring towels to sit on, both for hygiene reasons and to avoid getting sand in unwelcome places. I shouldn’t have to point out that all of these rules apply at your local clothed beach as well.
Naturist or nudist beaches are designated areas where people can enjoy the sun, sand, and sea while being naked. These beaches attract people who enjoy the freedom and natural experience of being naked without the restrictions of clothing. However, when people are naked in public, there are certain social norms and expectations that need to be followed, just like with any other social setting. This is why many nudist beaches have established guidelines or etiquette to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and safe.
The guidelines mentioned in the article are meant to prevent any behavior that could make others uncomfortable or create an unwelcome environment. They are not weird because they are common sense measures that respect the rights and dignity of other beachgoers. The Daily Star’s provocative headlines and sensationalizing the existence of nude beaches, portraying them as weird or taboo is not helpful, and it can perpetuate even more negative stereotypes and stigma.
Again, as I’ve said many times before, the writing is on the wall. The ladder is about to fall. Nothing more to say.
👏 Nudism 👏 is 👏 under 👏 threat.👏
I’m not concerned about nudists burying their erections in the sand, but far more worried about them burying their heads there. Pay attention, y’all. 🚀
Florida Principal Ousted After Parents Melt Down Over Michelangelo’s ‘Pornographic’ Statue of David
Oh, Florida. These stories just keep coming out. The latest example of Florida’s descent into puritanism comes from Tallahassee, where parents are complaining that sixth graders were made to view “pornography” because they were shown Michelangelo’s statue of David during an art history lesson.
The principal of Tallahassee Classical School was given an ultimatum to either quit or be fired by the school board president after parents complained. The increasing prevalence of these types of complaints, and the growing trend of dictating what is “controversial” or “appropriate” for children, threatens to stigmatize and marginalize nudity even further. This is just one more example of how the growing puritan streak in this country poses a threat to nudism.
Perhaps when Florida does eventually ban nudism, nudists can troll the state by wearing this swimsuit on all the former nude beaches:
Let’s hope that day never comes, and that common sense prevails over puritanical attitudes. 🚀
Naturism needs to spread its message more effectively, conference concludes
The INF-FNI international conference convened March 11-12, discussing the challenges facing naturism, concluding that more needs to be done to spread positive messages about the practice. The conference, held in Bonn, brought together around 40 people alongside video conference participants. It identified 13 challenges faced by the movement, including: cultural and social attitudes toward nudity, body shaming, false perceptions of an overlap between nudity and sex, pornographic websites and swingers’ establishments that misuse the term "naturist," discriminatory approach towards the female nipple on social media, and a lack of understanding about the role of national naturist federations. The conference also highlighted the need for better marketing and a more coherent message about naturism, greater visibility of naturist clubs, the need to attract younger people and achieve gender balance, and the varying levels of tolerance and legality of nudity around the world. The event urged individuals, clubs and federations to explain naturism and its benefits more clearly to the public, politicians and press. The conference also highlighted the need for better marketing and for the federations to present a more coherent message.
Now, I could probably go on and on about these particular problems, and I have in the past. For now, I’ll just say this about the conventions’ assessment of the situation: I agree. 🚀
Ciara addressed the negative backlash her naked dress received. Why did it make people so mad?
The article discusses the negative backlash received by singer Ciara for wearing a crystal-studded sheer gown to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. The dress was considered immodest and inappropriate by many social media users, with some criticism coming from Black men who projected their preconceived notions of how a wife and mother should present themselves. Culture writer Tiwa Adebayo argues that the backlash is an example of misogynoir, a pointed intersection of misogyny and racism, where people tie Ciara's worth to her role as a wife and mother. Adebayo also notes that similar outfits worn by Emily Ratajkowski, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Hunter Schafer did not receive the same level of criticism. The article concludes by highlighting the larger conversation on the general policing of women's bodies, particularly those of Black women.
There has been a lot written and spoken about the popularity of "the naked dress" at this year's oscars, including criticism by pundits like Piers Morgan who faced backlash for saying the actresses "looked like strippers". Of course, the trend of the "naked dress" has been gaining popularity in recent years, particularly at high-profile events like the Oscars, and these stories crop up in the press every time.
The phenomenon reflects how culturally divided we still are on nudity and the body and how disproportionately this stigma effects women—and women of color all the more—and how tabloid media perpetuates these stigmas in their reporting. 🚀
No Nudity Allowed: Censoring Naked Yoga
The original article, which was actually published three months ago but was sent to me recently, discusses the case of True Naked Yoga, a platform providing online naked yoga videos. In August 2022, payment processor Stripe abruptly banned True Naked Yoga, calling it a "restricted business" and contravening Stripe's service agreement. This ban forced True Naked Yoga to shut down for over a month until it could find a new payment processor.
Creators like those behind True Naked Yoga are advocating for naturist principles, promoting a healthy and nonsexual view of nudity, and the actions taken by Stripe ultimately perpetuates a moralistic view of nudity and sex. Of course, Stripe is not the first case of a payment platform engaging in this specific type of censorship. OnlyFans caused quite a stir with their short-lived attempt to ban sexually explicit content from their platform in 2021 under pressure from banks such as JPMorgan Chase, which did not want to be associated with sex work. OnlyFans quickly reversed that decision due to the backlash.
Substack—and thus Planet Nude—is also supported by Stripe, which raises concerns about our own vulnerability. If Stripe were to determine that our regular discussions of nudity contravene their platform rules, they could potentially shut us down as well. Nudity is a natural and integral aspect of human expression, and it's time for these companies to recognize and support the diverse ways people choose to express themselves. 🚀
A safe haven for queers, an inspiration for artists: Why we must fight for Hanlan's Point Beach
As regular readers of Planet Nude already know, Hanlan's Point Beach, a clothing-optional and LGBTQ-friendly beach in Toronto, faces challenges due to environmental damage, neglect, and controversial development plans. City officials' secretive handling of a now-canceled permanent events venue and inadequate consultation with the community have led to distrust. Current plans could still significantly reduce the clothing-optional space, impacting the beach's character. Activists from various groups are urging the city to consider their input and work together to preserve the beach's unique nature. Planet Nude contributorwrote a detailed report on the current situation, and the long history of what likely is North America’s oldest nude beach.
One of the activist groups leading the effort to protect the beach is "Hands Off Hanlan's". The group consists of a diverse coalition of LGBTQ people, nudists, naturists, conservationists, and other stakeholders. They aim to ensure that the beach remains a safe and inclusive space for its users, while also addressing concerns related to environmental damage, flooding, and other issues. The group has been advocating for more inclusive consultations, transparent planning processes, and responsible development that respects the historical, cultural, and social significance of Hanlan's Point.
What's remarkable about the group's recent stymying of an events venue's development was their successful argument of protecting the nude beach as an inclusive and safe LGBTQ+ space, highlighting the importance of community collaboration in preserving unique spaces for future generations. Their victory demonstrates the power of unity and advocacy in maintaining spaces that foster acceptance, body positivity, and self-expression for both nudist and LGBTQ+ communities, and serves as an inspiring example for similar movements worldwide. 🚀
Read the recent Planet Nude article on the culture and history of Hanlan’s Point:
‘They are grooming our children for immoral satanic worship’: Southern Utah politicians target drag shows
The article (which is a few months old) reports on a meeting of Liberty Action Coalition a Utah right-wing political group with around 4,000 members which has organized targeted protests of drag shows in the state. During the meeting, the group’s founder Patricia Kent, described as a write-in candidate for Washington County clerk/auditor, presented pictures purportedly showing youth at a recent drag show in St. George and criticized Utah Tech University for hosting the event. During her speech, she gave the following quote:
“Does that mean if we get a nudist colony from California who wants to come to St. George and have a rally in our town square that we’re going to allow it?”
Apparently Kent was attempting to make a point that drag shows are immoral and should not be allowed in the town square just like a “nudist colony” should not be allowed to have a rally there. The quote highlights Kent's belief that drag shows promote same-sex attraction and are grooming children for immoral satanic worship, and also implicitly suggests that nudists rallying would be even worse.
According to the article, the Liberty Action Coalition is a right-wing political group that opposes socialism, mask mandates, Black Lives Matter, and mandatory vaccinations for children. Kent is also reportedly the national chair of the American Independent Party. The article does not provide much more information about her background or political history. A cursory google search turned up that she resigned from a teaching position in 1996 after a relationship with a young female student came to light. The above article does note that Kent is among those who are critical of drag shows in the St. George area and believes they are promoting same-sex attraction and grooming children for satanic purposes.
In the case of the above quote about nudist colonies rallying in downtown St. George (ha!), Kent is obviously just spreading irrational moral panic and hysteria to whip up fury within her coalition. Still, the quote very clearly highlights the “slippery slope” of the current authoritarian movement within the republican party and how the anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ legislation being promoted and propagated across the country—and the ignorance behind it—is a direct threat to nudists and others who hold the view that nudity is a natural and basic human right. 🚀
Schoolgirls left tearful after 'male teachers line them up to measure their skirts with a ruler' to make sure they're not too short
Schoolgirls at Rainford High School in a suburb northeast of London, were left tearful after allegedly being subjected to skirt length measurements by male teachers enforcing the school's dress code. Over 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for the revocation of the policy. The school's headteacher denies any wrongdoing and promises to investigate concerns of unfair treatment.
This isn't directly related to nudism, but I just bristle at stories like this because they highlight the ongoing issue of policing young girls' bodies and clothing choices, perpetuating a culture that blames them for the behavior of others. This type of enforcement not only infringes on the students' autonomy but also reinforces harmful, sexist stereotypes. Schools should be striving for equality and acceptance, examining and challenging the outdated policies that perpetuate harmful attitudes towards the body. Their whole job should be to empower young people to embrace their own identities. 🚀
A quick break for some shameless self promo
If you appreciate or see the value in the work we are doing here at Planet Nude, I encourage you to consider upgrading to a paid subscription. Not only will you get access to exclusive content and discussions, but you will be supporting the research and writing that goes into this newsletter, which is substantial. Further, you will be supporting the work of our podcast, Naked Age. If you click the button below and sign up right now, we’ll even give you 20% off.
Okay, moving on. 🚀
GOP bill would require Arizonans to provide an ID to look at online porn
A Republican bill in Arizona proposes that people submit a government-issued ID to access "sexually explicit material" online, with critics arguing that the bill is so broad it could affect major streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu. The bill raises concerns over privacy, security, and freedom of speech. Nudists who don't think that this surge of conservative legislation going on in America right now is anything to be concerned about are fooling themselves. Nudists and naturists should pay attention to this surge of conservative legislation because it often aims to regulate and control individuals' freedom of expression and body autonomy. As these bills emerge, the nudist community and its values could come under scrutiny or face new challenges. Early nudist club owners were prosecuted under similar laws to the one being proposed in Arizona, like the Comstock Act, which suppressed the circulation of materials considered morally offensive, including literature and art that depicted nudity or sexual themes. The Arizona bill's resemblance to the suppressiveness of the Comstock Act serves as a reminder of how the nudist community's rights can be jeopardized by overreaching laws, making it essential to actively resist any legislation that threatens the core principles of naturism.
Speaking of the long-disregarded Comstock act, it was recently invoked by Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, who cited the suppressive laws to argue that Walgreens cannot distribute the abortion pill, Mifepristone, in Kansas. However, as this Twitter thread by journalist @JuddLegum points out, the Department of Justice, which is responsible for enforcing federal law, has taken the opposite view.
The Comstock Act, also known as the Act for the Suppression of Trade in, and Circulation of, Obscene Literature and Articles of Immoral Use, was a federal law passed in 1873. It was named after its chief advocate, Anthony Comstock, who was a zealous anti-vice crusader. The law criminalized the mailing of "obscene, lewd, or lascivious" materials, including contraceptives and information about contraceptives. It also prohibited the distribution of such materials through interstate commerce. The Comstock Act was enforced until 1965 when the landmark decision of Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) found it unconstitutional to restrict access to birth control because it interfered with a person's right to privacy.
The attempted use of the Comstock Act in this case is interesting because it demonstrates the ongoing legal battles around reproductive rights and access to contraception. While the Comstock Act is no longer enforced, its legacy of restricting access to contraception and reproductive health information still looms large in American history. This whole story also demonstrates the clear ways that our personal liberties are not only under attack legislatively but from corporate America as well. 🚀
Proposed law would hold librarians criminally liable for distributing “obscene” materials
A proposed Arkansas bill seeks to hold municipal or school library staff criminally liable for furnishing or distributing items deemed "obscene" to minors. Critics argue that the bill violates freedom of speech and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The bill, if passed, would create an appeals process for members of the public to challenge items in public and school libraries, potentially leading to the removal of materials considered "harmful."
One of the major problems with this and indeed all obscenity laws is that “obscene” is a highly subjective notion that varies wildly based on culture and other factors. Naturists exemplify this by rejecting the stigmas attached to nudity which many cultures also find obscene. Of course, this suppressive law could certainly apply to nudist magazines or other written and recorded materials pertaining to nudism.
Arkansas already has some of the strictest laws related to nudism in the United States, with its code explicitly prohibiting nudism and even making it illegal to advocate for nudism. This context is important for understanding the potential impact of the proposed bill on the nudist community in the state.
The bill may potentially have other consequences. As a volunteer director for the Western Nudist Research Library (WNRL) in Corona, California, and a member of the Nudist Research Library Consortium (NRLC), I am part of an effort to increase researcher access to the history and culture of the nudism movement. The proposed bill might negatively impact the ability of libraries like the WNRL and organizations like the NRLC to share and preserve nudism's unique culture with researchers in the state of Arkansas. The stringent obscenity regulations could potentially limit the availability of nudist-related resources and hinder the dissemination of information about the lifestyle and its history. 🚀
Florida bill would require bloggers who write about governor to register with the state
The article discusses Florida Senator Jason Brodeur's proposed bill, Senate Bill 1316, which would require bloggers who write about Florida government officials to register with the state or face fines. Bloggers who write about the governor, lieutenant governor, cabinet officers, or any member of the state legislature, and receive compensation for doing so, must register with state offices within five days after the publication of an article that mentions an elected state official. They would also have to submit monthly reports on the 10th of each month with the appropriate state office. Failure to do so would lead to daily fines for the bloggers, with a maximum amount per report of $2,500.
This does not specifically relate to nudism outside of the fact that we often write about Florida. The bill is an obvious affront to the First Amendment and freedom of the press, and it is fundamentally at odds with America's founding spirit. It’s a transparent attempt to silence dissenting voices and to control the narrative about government officials and to control the personal liberties of citizens. 🚀
Read our recent assessment of the situation in Florida’s state government and what effect it could have on nudism around the US:
Victoria Bateman: “I use my naked body to try and subvert things”
Victoria Bateman is a feminist economist who uses her naked body to subvert the societal norms that judge women's worth on their modesty. In her new book, "Naked Feminism: Breaking the Cult of Female Modesty," she argues that the cult of female modesty is on the rise globally, and she uses her naked protests to show that behind every scantily clad woman is a real, thinking being who deserves to be taken seriously.
Bateman's activism challenges the notion that a woman's worth is tied to her body, and that her value is diminished if she chooses to display it. She reveals in this interview the evolution of her decision to go nude in her own work, including the fact that in her youth she dressed modestly out of fear of being judged by authority figures, but now she sees her naked body as a political messaging tool to challenge the constraints that society places on women.
Naturally, due to the boldness of her message, she herself has faced some online censorship, most recently in Amazon’s refusal to run ads for her book, a decision which was appealed and reversed, thankfully.
Bateman's message is an important one that challenges the patriarchal system that often relegates women to the role of objects to be looked at and judged. Her activism shows that women can take control of their bodies and use them as powerful tools for social and political change, and that true equality can only be achieved when people are free to choose how they present themselves to the world. 🚀
Want to Love Your Body? Try Swimming Naked
This captivating story is a must-read for its beautiful portrayal of self-discovery and vulnerability in the context of embracing nudity at Mexico’s Zipolité nude beach. The author expertly weaves a tale of their journey towards self-acceptance, offering a poignant examination of the deeper meanings behind the simple act of shedding one's clothes. The narrative explores the intersection of individual and collective experiences, touching on themes of identity, societal norms, and the transformative power of connecting with nature. The author's prose and vivid descriptions create a strong sense of place, immersing the reader in the sights, sounds, and sensations of the beach and its liberating atmosphere.
This story touches on something I think about often with regards to nudity, and that is the profound physical sensation and personal connection it can foster. Through the lens of the author's own experience, we see how the act of baring oneself can serve as a catalyst for shedding inhibitions, fostering self-acceptance, and deepening our connection to the natural world. Five stars. 🪐
Planet Nude is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.